Year of The Horse


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Year of The Horse
January 31, 2014 - February 18, 2015

 

When I'm not creating work in opposition to capitalism and in defense of housing rights, I'll meditate on another side of home that's a theme I often return to, especially when I feel the need for a space of quietude and reflection: 

Growing up in Montana, I was surrounded by the iconography of the American West, and specifically that of the cowboy. Images of rugged men with their code of stoic endurance, self-reliance, loyalty, courage, and camaraderie, on horseback riding across the plains, wrangling cattle and spitting chew were everywhere - from the paintings of Charles M. Russell, Frederick Remington, and Will James to the landscape itself. However, what I remember being the most drawn to were the accouterments of the cowboy - the beautiful ornamentation and floral designs that adorned their trappings and presented such a delicate contrast to the rough and tough image of the wrangler.

Year of The Horse #2,      quilling (paper craft), suede frame, 28" x 17" 2014/15

Year of The Horse #2, quilling (paper craft), suede frame, 28" x 17" 2014/15

Home of The Champions Rodeo, Red Lodge, MT

Home of The Champions Rodeo, Red Lodge, MT

Year of The Horse #8,      quilling (paper craft), suede frame, 28" x 17" 2014/15

Year of The Horse #8, quilling (paper craft), suede frame, 28" x 17" 2014/15

Year of The Horse #8,      detail, quilling (paper craft), suede frame, 28" x 17" 2014/15

Year of The Horse #8, detail, quilling (paper craft), suede frame, 28" x 17" 2014/15

Christopher branding suede with my family's JVK (great, great grandfather John Vernon Kemp) brand that dates back to the late 1800's (I had the iron made after re-registering the brand that had lapsed after my dad died in 2008).

Christopher branding suede with my family's JVK (great, great grandfather John Vernon Kemp) brand that dates back to the late 1800's (I had the iron made after re-registering the brand that had lapsed after my dad died in 2008).

Year of The Horse #8,      quilling (paper craft), suede frame, 28" x 17" 2014/15

Year of The Horse #8, quilling (paper craft), suede frame, 28" x 17" 2014/15

Year of The Horse #8,      detail, quilling (paper craft), suede frame, 28" x 17" 2014/15

Year of The Horse #8, detail, quilling (paper craft), suede frame, 28" x 17" 2014/15

 
Year of The Horse #4,      quilling (paper craft), suede frame, 28" x 17" 2014/15

Year of The Horse #4, quilling (paper craft), suede frame, 28" x 17" 2014/15

Year of The Horse #4,      detail,   quilling (paper craft), suede frame, 28" x 17" 2014/15

Year of The Horse #4, detail, quilling (paper craft), suede frame, 28" x 17" 2014/15

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Year of The Horse #1,      quilling (paper craft), suede frame, 28" x 17" 2014/15

Year of The Horse #1, quilling (paper craft), suede frame, 28" x 17" 2014/15

Year of The Horse #6,      detail, quilling (paper craft), suede frame, 28" x 17" 2014/15

Year of The Horse #6, detail, quilling (paper craft), suede frame, 28" x 17" 2014/15

Year of The Horse #6,      detail, quilling (paper craft), suede frame, 28" x 17" 2014/15

Year of The Horse #6, detail, quilling (paper craft), suede frame, 28" x 17" 2014/15

 
Year of The Horse #3 ,   quilling (paper craft), suede frame, 28" x 17" 2014/15

Year of The Horse #3, quilling (paper craft), suede frame, 28" x 17" 2014/15

Year of The Horse #6,      detail   quilling (paper craft), suede frame, 28" x 17" 2014/15

Year of The Horse #6, detail quilling (paper craft), suede frame, 28" x 17" 2014/15

 
Wild horses, Montana

Wild horses, Montana

Wild horses, Montana

Wild horses, Montana

2014/15 is the Year of the Horse according to Chinese zodiac. The Year of the Horse starts from Jan. 31, 2014 (the Lunar New Year / Spring Festival of China) and lasts to Feb. 18, 2015:

The spirit of the horse is recognized to be the Chinese people's ethos – making unremitting efforts to improve themselves. It is energetic, bright, warm-hearted, intelligent and able. Ancient people liked to designate an able person as 'Qianli Ma', a horse that covers a thousand li a day (one li equals 500 meters).

In honor of the Year of The Horse, I created a new series of quilling drawings inspired by my family's roots and in Montana and Idaho and my love of the beauty and ornate trappings of the West. 

Year of The Horse #2,      detail quilling (paper craft), suede frame, 28" x 17" 2014/15

Year of The Horse #2, detail quilling (paper craft), suede frame, 28" x 17" 2014/15

Great, great grandfather John Vernon Kemp (on horse), outside Buffalo, Montana, late 1800's

Great, great grandfather John Vernon Kemp (on horse), outside Buffalo, Montana, late 1800's

Year of The Horse #8,      detail, quilling (paper craft), suede frame, 28" x 17" 2014/15

Year of The Horse #8, detail, quilling (paper craft), suede frame, 28" x 17" 2014/15

Christopher branding suede with my family's JVK (great, great grandfather John Vernon Kemp) brand that dates back to the late 1800's (I had the iron made after re-registering the brand that had lapsed after my dad died in 2008).

Christopher branding suede with my family's JVK (great, great grandfather John Vernon Kemp) brand that dates back to the late 1800's (I had the iron made after re-registering the brand that had lapsed after my dad died in 2008).

Year of The Horse #8,      detail, quilling (paper craft), suede frame, 28" x 17" 2014/15

Year of The Horse #8, detail, quilling (paper craft), suede frame, 28" x 17" 2014/15

Will James,  And Rough is a Might Tame Name , 1928, Pencil drawing

Will James, And Rough is a Might Tame Name, 1928, Pencil drawing

Year of The Horse #4,      detail,   quilling (paper craft), suede frame, 28" x 17" 2014/15

Year of The Horse #4, detail, quilling (paper craft), suede frame, 28" x 17" 2014/15

My Dad's cowboy boots

My Dad's cowboy boots

 
Year of The Horse #7,      quilling (paper craft), suede frame, 28" x 17" 2014/15

Year of The Horse #7, quilling (paper craft), suede frame, 28" x 17" 2014/15

Year of The Horse #7,      detail   quilling (paper craft), suede frame, 28" x 17" 2014/15

Year of The Horse #7, detail quilling (paper craft), suede frame, 28" x 17" 2014/15

 
Year of The Horse #6,      detail, quilling (paper craft), suede frame, 28" x 17" 2014/15

Year of The Horse #6, detail, quilling (paper craft), suede frame, 28" x 17" 2014/15

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Year of The Horse #6,      quilling (paper craft), suede frame, 28" x 17" 2014/15

Year of The Horse #6, quilling (paper craft), suede frame, 28" x 17" 2014/15

Year of The Horse #6,      detail, quilling (paper craft), suede frame, 28" x 17" 2014/15

Year of The Horse #6, detail, quilling (paper craft), suede frame, 28" x 17" 2014/15

Year of The Horse #6,      detail   quilling (paper craft), suede frame, 28" x 17" 2014/15

Year of The Horse #6, detail quilling (paper craft), suede frame, 28" x 17" 2014/15